By Jeff Riger @Riger1984
I think it’s safe to say that Tigers fans are ready to see Jose Iglesias and Friday night is the night. Iglesias was slated to make his Detroit debut playing 2nd base and hitting 9th, however since the original lineup was posted, Miguel Cabrera has been scratched so the newest Tiger will play 3rd base and hit 7th instead.
When Iglesias trots out to the field for the first time, Tiger fans will notice that he’s wearing the number 1, the first time that number has been worn since Detroit great Lou Whitaker graced the field at Tiger Stadium. Of course there will be people who think Iglesias doesn’t deserve the honor but one of those people is not Jim Leyland.
“I have no idea, I don’t get involved in that” Leyland said.
But is there something special about the number 1?
“I don’t really look at it like that, on our team I’d say 24 (Miguel Cabrera) is a pretty good number to have” Leyland said.
Leyland doesn’t seem to be the type to care about numbers, not even the one that he wears on his back. “He (Iglesias) can have 10 if he wants it, I don’t know what he wore in Boston?”
When I informed the Skipper that Iglesias did indeed wear 10 with the Red Sox, Leyland didn’t hesitate to say that he would offer his new Tiger his number.
When asked if Leyland would wear 1 if Iglesias wore his 10 he replied “Not as long as I got an ass!”
Well I’m not exactly sure what that meant, but at least it sounded funny.
Of course the skipper usually has a reason for everything he does, who knew his reason for offering Iglesias his number could be as simple as an identity change.
“Maybe they’ll (the numerous fans who criticize him) be ripping the wrong guy then” Leyland said to a room full of laughs.
As for Iglesias, he has no desire to trade with Leyland, instead he wants to wear the number 1 because of Whitaker.
“I asked for the number 1” Iglesias said. “He (Whitaker) used to be a real good player here in Detroit and unfortunately I’ve never seen him play but I have heard a lot of good things about him and I’m just thankful to have that number and represent him.”
Word is Iglesias is expected to be in Detroit a very long time and if he is half as good as Whitaker was, Tigers fans should really enjoy this guy.
Listen to the entire Leyland audio clip to find out what number Leyland was asked to give up during his career and how much money he was offered to do so? It’s pretty entertaining!